Academic Programs Catalog

College of Social Science

Global and Area Studies- Social Science (the Bachelor of Science degree program is in moratorium effective Summer 2016 through Spring 2019)

The global and area studies-social science major focuses on the study of global systems and processes as they are expressed in local places. The major offers concentrations in world regions and global topics. World region concentrations include African studies, Asian studies, European studies, Latin American and Caribbean studies, and Russian and Eurasian studies. Global topical concentrations include gender and global change, and international development.

In this major, students select a concentration to gain knowledge of a particular world region and a foreign language relevant to that region or of a global theme that is important across world regions. Students develop understanding of the processes of continuity and change in various world regions through multidisciplinary theory and practice and use of methodologies, theories, and literatures of various disciplines and fields. The major also requires a disciplinary cognate that introduces students to the major theories and research methods of one discipline in the social sciences and its perspective and applicability to global and area studies.

Students are strongly encouraged to have at least one international experience through study abroad, internships, or independent study. The major helps prepare students for jobs in government, business, and non-governmental organizations that are engaged with the world outside the United States and for graduate study in international or area studies and other fields.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Social Science, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science Degree in Global and Area Studies

  1. The graduation requirements of the University as described in the Undergraduate Education section of this catalog; 120 credits, including general elective credits, are required for the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in Global and Area Studies-Social Science.

    The University’s Tier II writing requirement for the Global and Area Studies major is met by completing one of the following courses as specified below:

    African Studies: One of the following courses: History 484, or Social Science 499.
    Asian Studies: The following course:  History 485.
    Latin American and Caribbean Studies: One of the following courses: Geography 432 or History 486.
    European Studies: One of the following courses: History 482 or 483.
    Russian and Eurasian Studies: The following course: History 483.
    Gender and Global Change: One of the following courses: Geography 432 or Social Science 499.
    International Development: One of the following courses: Geography 432 or Social Science 499.

    Credits applied toward the general education Integrative Studies requirement cannot  be counted toward the total credits of the major or concentrations in the major. With the approval of a Global and Area Studies-Social Science advisor, students who change their major to Global and Area Studies-Social Science, or who seek to add Global and Area Studies-Social Science as an additional major, may request that courses used to fulfill the Integrative Studies requirement of the previous major be applied towards the completion of the Integrative Studies requirement for the Global and Area Studies-Social Science major.
  2. The requirements of the College of Social Science for the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree.
  3. Complete 6 to 8 credits of introductory and survey courses. Students must select two courses, one lower division and one upper division from a list available from the Global and Area Studies-Social Science advisor. One course must be in a discipline in the College of Social Science. No more than one course may be at the 100-level and no more than one may be from the same discipline. Courses used to satisfy the introductory and survey course requirement may not also be used to meet the requirements of a concentration.
  4. Complete one of the following world region or global topical concentrations (minimum of 24 credits). The student’s concentration must be approved by the Global and Area Studies-Social Science advisor.

World Region Concentrations

Each of the five world region concentrations requires second-year competency in a foreign language relevant to that region.  Students may fulfill this language requirement by successfully completing Michigan State University courses or equivalent courses or language study at an approved intensive summer institute or approved study abroad program. This requirement may be satisfied by placing into a 300-level foreign language course based on a Michigan State University placement test. Students who come from other countries or cultures where a language other than English is spoken should contact the Global and Area Studies-Social Science advisor to discuss placement.

African Studies

Students must complete a minimum of 24 credits of non-language courses selected from the following:

  1. Both of the following courses (8 credits):
    IAH    211A    Area Studies and Multicultural Civilizations: Africa (I)  (4)
    ISS    330A    Africa: Social Science Perspectives (I) (4)
    Students who have completed one or both of these courses to fulfill their Integrative Studies requirement should select courses from the list of courses in items 2. and 3. in order to complete a minimum of 24 credits that can be counted toward the concentration.
  2. Complete a minimum of 8 to10 credits in three courses with not more than two courses in one of the following: anthropology, economics, English, geography, history, James Madison College, music, political science, or religious studies.
  3. Complete a minimum of 6 to 8 credits in two elective courses from a list maintained by the Global and Area Studies-Social Science advisor. Students must obtain approval from the Global and Area Studies-Social Science advisor before enrolling in any elective courses to ensure sufficient focus on Africa.
  4. Students must complete a 3-credit capstone experience including the writing of a research paper, via an independent study with a faculty member of the African Studies Center. The paper may be based on experience in a study abroad program, internship, or other experience in an African country. With approval of the Global and Area Studies-Social Science advisor, this requirement may be fulfilled by enrolling in Social Science 499.

Asian Studies

Students must complete a minimum of 24 credits of non-language courses selected from the following:

  1. One of the following courses (8 credits):
    IAH    204        Asia and the World (I) (4)
    IAH    211B     Area Studies and Multicultural Civilizations: Asia (I) (4)
    ISS    330B     Asia: Social Science Perspectives (I) (4)
    Students who have completed one or both of these courses to fulfill their Integrative Studies requirement should select courses from the list of courses in item 2. in order to complete a minimum of 24 credits that can  be counted toward the concentration.
  2. Complete a minimum of 13 credits in five elective courses from a list maintained by the Global and Area Studies-Social Science advisor. At least two of the courses must be at the 300-level or above. Students must obtain approval from the Global and Area Studies-Social Science advisor before enrolling in any elective courses to ensure sufficient focus on Asia.
  3. Students must complete a 3-credit capstone experience including the writing of a research paper, via an independent study with a faculty member of the Asian Studies Center. The paper may be based on experience in a study abroad program, internship, or other experience in an Asian country.

Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Students must complete a minimum of 24 credits of non-language courses selected from the following:

  1. Two of the following courses (8 credits):
    IAH    203       Latin America and the World (I) (4)
    IAH    211C    Area Studies and Multicultural Civilizations: The Americas (D) (4)
    ISS    330C    Latin America: Social Science Perspectives (I) (4)
    Students who have completed one or both of these courses to fulfill their Integrative Studies requirement should select courses from the list of courses in items 2. and 3. in order to complete a minimum of 24 credits that can  be counted toward the concentration.
  2. Complete a minimum of 8 to10 credits in three courses with not more than two courses in one of the following: anthropology, Arts and Letters, economics, history, history of art, Integrative Studies in Arts and Humanities, Integrative Studies in Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences, James Madison College, journalism, music, political science, Portuguese, or Spanish.
  3. Complete a minimum of 6 to 8 credits in two elective courses from a list maintained by the Global and Area Studies-Social Science advisor. Students must obtain approval from the Global and Area Studies-Social Science advisor before enrolling in any elective courses to ensure sufficient focus on Latin America.
  4. Students must complete 2 credits by enrolling in Social Science 490 Special Topics in Social Science, section on Latin America and Caribbean Studies seminar.

European Studies

Students must complete a minimum of 24 credits of non-language courses selected from the following:

  1. Social Science requirement (minimum of 9 credits). Students must see the Global and Area Studies-Social Science advisor for an approved listing of courses and must complete a minimum of three courses from at least two disciplines.
  2. Humanities requirement (minimum of 9 credits).  Students must see the Global and Area Studies-Social Science advisor for an approved listing of courses and must complete a minimum of three courses from at least two disciplines.
  3. Students must complete a 3-credit capstone experience via an independent study by submitting a research paper on a topic related to Europe, via study abroad by submitting a research paper completed as part of an Michigan State University study abroad program in Europe, via an internship by submitting a research paper completed as part of a Michigan State University approved field experience or internship related to Europe, or by completing a capstone course including submission of a research paper on Europe completed as part of the course. The students capstone experience must be approved by the Global and Area Studies-Social Science advisor.

Russian and Eurasian Studies

Students must complete a minimum of 24 credits of non-language courses selected from the following:

  1. Social Science requirement (minimum of 9 credits). Students must see the Global and Area Studies-Social Science advisor for an approved listing of courses and must complete a minimum of three courses from at least two disciplines.
  2. Humanities requirement (minimum of 9 credits).  Students must see the Global and Area Studies-Social Science advisor for an approved listing of courses and must complete a minimum of three courses from at least two disciplines.
  3. Students must complete a 3-credit capstone experience via independent study by submitting a research paper on a topic related to Russia or Eurasia, via study abroad by submitting a research paper completed as part of an Michigan State University study abroad program in Russia or Eurasia, via an internship by submitting a research paper completed as part of a Michigan State University approved field experience or internship related to Russia or Eurasia, or by completing a capstone course including submission of a research paper on Russia or Eurasia completed as part of the course. The students capstone experience must be approved by the Global and Area Studies-Social Science advisor.

Global Topical Concentrations

Each global topical concentration requires significant foreign language or international experience. Students may choose (1), (2), or (3) as follows: (1) second-year competency in a relevant foreign language. Students may fulfill this language requirement by successfully completing Michigan State University courses or equivalent courses or language study at an approved intensive summer institute or approved study abroad program. This requirement may be satisfied by placing into a 300-level foreign language course based on a Michigan State University placement test. Students who come from other countries or cultures where a language other than English is spoken should contact the Global and Area Studies-Social Science advisor to discuss placement; (2) a period of study, internship, or research experience in one or more developing counties, either a one-semester program or two programs of at least five weeks each, with a faculty sponsor. Students must consult the Global and Area Studies-Social Science advisor in advance to determine how the experience might meet the requirement of this concentration; (3) beginning-level competency in a foreign language by placing into a 200-level language course and an experience in a developing country of at least five weeks. Students must see the Global and Area Studies-Social Science advisor for a list of eligible developing countries.

Gender and Global Change

Students must complete a minimum of 24 credits of non-language courses selected from the following:

  1. Complete a minimum 8 to 10 credits in three courses with not more than two in one of the following: anthropology, James Madison College, sociology, or women’s studies. At least one course must be at the 300-level or above.
  2. Complete four courses from one of the five following themes: Gender, Health, and Hunger; Gender and Environment; Global Feminisms; Gender, Nation, and Democracy; or Gender and Human Rights. An approved listing of courses is available from the Global and Area Studies-Social Science advisor. 
  3. Complete 3 credits of Social Science 499 Directed Research in Interdisciplinary Studies in Social Science (W) to fulfill the capstone requirement.

International Development

Students must complete a minimum of 24 credits of non-language courses selected from the following:

  1. Complete a minimum of 8 to 10 credits in three courses with not more than two in one of the following: anthropology, economics, environmental economics and policy, geography, James Madison College, political science, sociology, or women’s studies. At least two courses must be at the 300-level or above.
  2. Complete four elective courses from a list maintained by the Global and Area Studies-Social Science advisor. No more than two of the courses may be in the same discipline.
  3. Complete 3 credits of Social Science 499 Directed Research in Interdisciplinary Studies in Social Science (W) to fulfill the capstone requirement.